January 29, 2018

Grassley on 8th Circuit Nominee David Stras: "Justice Stras won’t be a rubber stamp for any political ideology"

Prepared Floor Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
In support of the nomination of David Stras to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
January 29, 2018
Over the next couple days, the Senate will vote on whether to invoke cloture and to confirm the nomination of Justice David Stras to serve on the Eighth Circuit. Justice Stras is eminently qualified and exceptionally bright. He has received praise and support across the legal profession—and across the political spectrum.
Justice Stras is the grandson of Holocaust survivors. He graduated #1 in his class from Kansas Law School in 1999. He served as a law clerk to two federal circuit court judges and to a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Justice Stras has served on the Minnesota Supreme Court since his appointment in 2010. In 2012, he ran for a full six-year term. He handily defeated his opponent, winning 56% of the vote. Justice Stras has received wide bipartisan support from the Minnesota legal community.
He taught law for many years at the University of Minnesota. He also teaches law at the University of Iowa in my home state. Many of the faculty—including even liberal professors such as Professor Shelly Kurtz—strongly endorse Justice Stras’s nomination. His time in the private sector was spent at two highly regarded law firms.
During his service on the Minnesota Supreme Court, Justice Stras has participated in over 750 cases. As my colleague, Senator Klobuchar, noted, Justice Stras’s judicial record demonstrates that he is impartial and apolitical in his rulings. Justice Stras has sided with the Minnesota Supreme Court’s majority 94% of the time. Justice Stras dissented one-third of the time with then-Justice Alan Paige, who was the first African American justice in Minnesota and who is very liberal. Former Justice Paige strongly endorses Justice Stras’s nomination to the Eighth Circuit, and four other former justices from all political stripes also endorse Justice Stras’s nomination.
This shows me that Justice Stras won’t be a rubber stamp for any political ideology. I am convinced that Justice Stras will rule fairly and impartially, finding and applying the law as written—and not legislating from the bench.
Justice Stras is a very accomplished, impressive nominee. He has a long judicial record of impartiality. I strongly support his nomination, and I urge all of my colleagues to do the same.